South Africa’s new satellite – ZA-ARMC1 – will have superior local design, be more robust and provide greater resolution than its predecessor SumbandilaSAT.
This emerged at the weekend’s concluding workshop between the SA National Space Agency (Sansa) and local industry and academic experts, held to decide final specifications for South Africa’s next earth observation satellite.
Sansa said as part of SA’s contribution to the African Resource and Environmental Management Constellation (ARMC) of satellites, the local space agency, together with local industry, has held several discussions on the new satellite, ZA-ARMC1, and its associated benefits for South Africa and Africa at large.
Sansa CEO, Dr Sandile Malinga, said the new satellite would provide data to address three African priority areas, namely food security, disaster management, and land use and land-cover mapping.
Sansa said associated benefits included agriculture, climate, environmental impact assessment, farm settlements, housing, urban and regional planning, border monitoring, disaster monitoring and prediction, water management, oil and gas pipeline monitoring, safety, security and health.
Malinga said one of the spatial resolution specifications requested for ZA-ARMC1 would also enable Statistics South Africa to have detailed mapping of dwellings across South Africa for the annual census.